There’s Snail In Them Thar Hills


Yeah, I know… I know. The east side of the country is digging out from massive amounts of snow dropped  by the latest monster winter storm, so this outdoor encounter doesn’t hold a 1000th of a drop of candlewax, but since fleeting hail is about the only organic frozen stuff I ever get rare occasion to encounter around these here Southern California parts, you’ll have to pardon me being fascinated with this singular patch of what’s called “graupel” I found below this magnificently mossy north-facing rock while about 2,400 feet up in the Verdugos between the Brand and Whiting Woods motorways as part of my latest Glendale Trail Safety Patrol yesterday.

Graupel (graw-pull) is the ungainly and term that seems to be just about the last thing meteorologist types would call the stage of precipitation that basically exists between hail and snow. I prefer to refer to the mixture via a mash-up of the words snow and hail to make “snail.”

Regardless of what it’s called, the one thing that can hopefully be agreed upon is that it was freakin’ cold enough up there at such a relatively low elevation to produce this stuff. I know that at the end of the patrol my nearly frost-bitten fingers wouldn’t argue that in the slightest.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."